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Help vs horde meta in local area 
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:44 pm
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New poster here, just started a new DE army after a long time playing Tomb Kings. My current army involves: 1 sorceress mounted, 30 witch elves, 2x5 dark riders, 2x10 warlocks, 2 bolt throwers, 10 shades with great weapons and 2 masters on Pegasus. More things will be added

I have found this is great for clearing out all chaff in most armies, while i find this list pretty strong vs MSU armies im having problems with combat res and sustain vs large cheap hordes or large death stars. My local gaming group love fielding hordes of all types and large armored units from saurus, VC zombies and skeletons in huge numbers, not horde but large numbers of chaos warriors, skaven and the dreaded HE spear horde complete with world dragon banner and shadow magic.

My only real way to fight them is with witches but they have a hard time in the game of attrition waiting for my cav to flank. I dont really like the COB as i feel its a big point sink and the rest of my army is usually killing the opponents back field unable to use its bonus.

I have read that Dark shards with shields can hold their own i have also thought of lots of basic corsairs, maybe taking a lv1 with life signature for more durability. i hope this may help hold up while i can get my flankers in position.

Is this the Dark Elves way though? Any thought or help would be appreciated. Feel free to rip my list apart but i love playing the big blocks of warlocks :D they're a keeper.


Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:13 pm
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Miscast into the Warp
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The list you have isn't particular bad, but it seems to be trying to be too many things at once.
You have elements of MSU, yet are fielding large blocks making evasive points denial unlikely. But don't want to take the CoB that would make the WEs devastating.

I think what you need to do is decide on a play style and devise the list around this. If you want combat res then start taking other infantry to back up the WEs directly rather than waiting for the cav help. Although if you are not currently managing to get cav into the flanks I would suggest you might need to relook at what you are doing with them, ours is a force that is quick enough that you should be about to choose your match ups most of the time.

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Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:28 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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Lining up in a fair fight, rank on rank is not our strong suit - we will kill a lot, but with T3 and not enough armor, we will die a lot too, and we can't afford those losses because our troops are expensive, and unlike your previous army, you can't just magic more. :)

What you want to do is use your superior speed and board control to set up overwhelming superiority in small spaces, one at a time. When your witches charge a unit, they shouldn't charge by themselves. Something should be hitting that same unit from other directions too.

You seem averse to the cauldron - I'd say if you're taking a big block of 30 witches, you should try it once and see the benefits before writing it off. It really takes those witch elves up to another level of destruction. The chariot hits, the hag on the back, the ward save, and the extra attack for every witch in the unit make it more than worth the points. With the cauldron, you only need 24 witches for the horde instead of 30 anyway, because it provides the frontage to make up the difference. Take it from somebody who has seen it in action a lot, it is worth a try.

The warlocks are fine, I don't use them in 10's, but that's just a personal thing.

Anyway, a big block of infantry, any of the ones you just listed, will die in droves to a witch elf unit with a cauldron. This is especially true if you do it right, and charge in the flank at the same time with those warlocks, or some dark riders, or a hero on a pegasus, or whatever. You shouldn't be "waiting on them to charge", you should be generally be controlling the board so you decide when your witches charge, and they should have so much support that the enemy isn't fleeing, letting your units charge the next guy, and so on.

Here's some math on the witch horde with cauldron. Let's just assume you have basic witches with a cauldron, and full command. The 8 witches across the front get 4 attacks each (champion gets 5), then 1 each for the ranks behind. That's 49 poisoned ST3 attacks, rerolling misses most of the time, and rerolling 1s to wound. I like the razor banner on them, so then you're taking armor at -1. Then add in the attendants, and the hag with whatever you kitted her out with, then the impact hits from the chariot.

That's nothing to sneeze at.

Hope this helps.

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Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:50 pm
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You want to eliminate enemy hordes? Bite the bullet and get the Cauldron in there. Give the Deathhag an Ogre Blade and the unit the Razor standard and that monstrosity will tear through almost everything in the game. You are still T3, so you will get ground down over time, but by that point your enemy should be so debilitated that ten warlocks in the flank or rear will annihilate them.Your usual opponents will learn to avoid witch hordes at all costs ;)

Otherwise, you can split up the witches into units of three, which act both as chaff, chaff killers, assassins, flank protectors, screens, just about anything except surviving more than two rounds of combat. Ten of my ladies have been charged by an Empire knightstar and punked out Luthor Huss, put a wound on Valten, and made their points back triple.

Your general list looks good, very close to what I run normally.

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Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:20 pm
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I don't agree that a Caludron to the witches is the only answer against hordes, as you don't like it.

We have some other very viable choices, and 300 points is a lot. The following units excel against cheap hordes, and you can two options or powerfull units for 300 points.

- War Hydra
Monster, Breath Weapon, Good strenth, tougness and wounds, with the option to return the casual wounds back while eating the horde. For 300 points you can take 2 ! This is the most durable and high tougness option. Don't forget the breath attack, as any enemy infantry unit hates them. Big horde of elite infantry ? Two breath attacks (combined with soulboght from your warlocks) and they are reduced to nothing.

- Cold One Knights
Good grinders and difficult to kill in combat because of 2+ armor save. The can grind because of cold ones, so for this purpose they are not that effective in one unit of 10, but better in two units of 5. This is the fastest and most well armored option.

- Sisters of Slaughter
Our best killing and grinding combat unit because of their 4+ ward save, negating rank bonus and parry save in the first turn of combat. For 300 you can field an unit of 20 strong, there is nothing that can beat that in combat. They lack strength, but most hordes have AS of 6, 5 or maximum 4+. But, they are very fragile outside combat, everything that touches them will kill it. But you have enough options in your current army to prevent that. I personally field another option for enemy hordes of 10 sisters combined with a Bloodwrack Shrine to add Terror, Impact Hits, Medusa, Magic Resistance, Leadership and 3 ranks to the unit (also makes it possible to place your sorceress in this combat unit) and focused to break enemy hordes.

They all have different strength and weaknesses, so it your choice of preference !

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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:51 am
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For the record, I never said that CoB was the ONLY way to deal with hordes. I simply stated that since he was already fielding a horde of witches as his primary combat block, it's the easy way to up his damage output without major changes to his style, and that given that, it was worth trying before dismissing out of hand.

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Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:23 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Thanks for the advice guys , i think ill be getting COB kit as a large percent of my core it witches at the moment, it cant hurt trying it firsthand. I will also try the the shrine with 10 or so sisters as i completely forgot about the dance doing more than just a ward save that seems like a nasty unit too.

Flame templates on hydras will not be forgotten either, but that leadership concerns me so i probably proxy something as them first. Im also going to get a blob of corsairs as they are really easy to pick up cheap and see how they do with COB and Shrine.

I guess my earlier reluctance is that i thought (and still do a bit) putting a big target like cauldron in a high point T3 unit seems all eggs in one basket approach, but there is only one way to find out and would love to be proven wrong. Any other advice or idea would always be welcome.


Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:09 pm
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I fear this might be more due to tactics than to your army list. From my mathammer, a horde of 30 witches should fight a horde of 50 HE spearmen to a stalemate at worst. Saurus just evaporate as you will have your rerolls to hit in every round. Chaos warriors might be a problem but still, only a few should remain after you are killed to an elf. Skaven melt down easily.

This is of course a case where you fight with both units intact, with no magic influence and no heroes that would support the units. Therefore I would like to ask, what does the situation look like on the battlefield? Does it happen often that your witches get depleted before they get to combat? Is your opponent buffing himself or crippling you too much while you are unable to harm him? Does he stack support elements that make a difference, such as an anointed in the unit, frost phoenix flank charging or mortis engine giving everything in some are regeneration? Is your horde flank charged often? If something from this list is the case, your solution should be to avoid those situations, not bringing more horde-killers.

What I have written is significant for "reasonable hordes" - 50 spearmen, 30-40 witches, 60 stormvermin or so. If your enemies field really, really big hordes (such as 70 spearmen or more - true, 30 witches are not enough for those), you can try horde killing spells (dwellers for example) or just redirecting and flank charging. Also, dragon + two kharis should make short work of such foes. Or you can build an avoidance army, kill everything else and laugh as the big horde does nothing.

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Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:25 pm
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Just to give you ideas outside of units is to take dark magic on your lvl4 and if your not taking a cob switch to corsairs (I take hand bows move into 12 inches and shoot then you also get a stand and shoot and if they don't make their own charge you get another 2 rounds of shooting (or counter charge) but AHW works well too especially if your aggressive and want this unit to push forward

Dark magic give power of darkness +1 St combined with good ws and asf helps make the hits convert to wounds easier.
Word of pain makes it harder to hit you (lowers their St if boosted) and.......
Bladewind, yeah 9 to cast (so only 4 needed on two dice but I'd reccomend more dice to push it thru especially if you have managed to get word of pain off first) this spell can devastate hordes "what's that 60 zombies, no please look again there only appears to be 10 now!" It's even good against WoC/elves if you can lower the ws with word of pain as it has inherent AP as well as str 4 it's also a handy way to sneak a wound thru on characters especially casters or scroll caddies.

Also failing those spell a big 4d6 doombolt, the black horror and even soul stealer can thin those numbers out nicely

Thin the hordes out with magic and shooting and then send in the witches/corsairs whatever to mop up the survivors I know the above is relying on magic but you can squeeze a wop and bladewind thru on 4 dice if your rolling above average so not dependent on a big phase

Edit: oh yeah and blackguard are also very good against hordes too :-)


Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:08 am
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Cast more purple sun's. there is nothing that withers away hords like the sun ;).

the rest try doubble flee unitll your in a position to take down the hoards.

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Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:16 am
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I used a WE horde with CoB for quite a while, it works really well. Frenzy and having to overrun can be a problem but with the right chaff clearance, like Darkshards, Dark Riders and RBT with Warlocks to support you can kinda point the horde any way you want. D6+1 Impact hits help, plus the CoB gives them 5++ with Magic Res 1, making them durable too. Plus it turns the unit to Unique, so it can't be stomped or anything, which is kinda handy.

The only other tactic I have for dealing with hordes is to Soulbight or use the Withering to bring Toughness down, then Crossbowmen, RBT and Doombolt do the rest. I prefer that to things like Dwellers where it's point at a unit and take half of it away or something.


Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:35 am
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or you can use a MSU style army to irritate the hell out of your opponent.

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Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:26 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Thanks for the advice it looks like my tactics are probably at fault, playing half avoidance and then the witches were left behind with out support, while math hammer might be right rarely is it a straight up meat grinder and im used to treating my core as disposable skeletons, obviously not the case anymore with dark elves.


Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:07 am
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#TheSupremePatriach - I hadn't realized the CoB makes the unit immune to stomp! I have lost a lot of witches to that in the past. Thanks

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Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:47 pm
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A Cauldron of Blood does not change the unit type making a unit immune to Stomp/Thunderstomp attacks any more than adding a character on a cold one to a unit would. An infantry unit can be stomped.

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Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:02 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

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Lots of really good suggestions already.
I say use everything to your advantage,
-Witch horde with Cauldron,
-Boom spells like Dwellers for armies with low strength, or purple sun for armies with low initiative.
-I like using Morathi against low initiative armies, Fly where ever you want to and send purple sun down the line. Very Nasty.
-Bolt throwers, and shooting from your dark riders.
-Doombolt from the warlocks.

Have everything at your disposal and good generalship is about knowing when to use what, at which target.

Remember deployment is key. I've won games pretty much on turn 1 with Morathi flying in range of deathstars (with all the characters and points) and successfully cast purple sun whipping out general, BSB, Level 4 and a whole bunch of troops. GG and reset. I don't like playing like that all the time coz its not fun for your apponent. I guess if you are going to do something like that, then you need to make sure you're willing to play another game, and take a different lore- IMO.


Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:01 am
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6-dicing spells for the win is a tactic but of the lowest rung.

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Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:11 pm
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